3 Common Animal Myths: Debunked
Last week, we discussed the science behind some fun facts about animals. But every so often, we hear a piece of trivia that isn’t quite true.
Sometimes the popular perception of an animal is based on a misconception.
In today’s post, we will explore three common myths about the animal kingdom, and we’ll explain what’s really going on.
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1. Do Camels Store Water in Their Humps?
It’s well known that camels can last a long time without drinking any water—even several months at a time!
But if you’ve been told that camels store water in their humps, you’d be mistaken.
The main reason camels are able to prevent dehydration is because of their oval-shaped blood cells, not their humps.
When you become dehydrated, your blood thickens. This makes it harder for your heart to send blood to the muscles that need it.
Since a camel’s blood cells are more narrow than most animals’, they can easily flow through thickened blood. This allows camels to delay dehydration substantially.
So then what purpose does a camel’s hump serve?
While the hump doesn’t store water, it does store enough energy to replace three weeks’ worth of food.
Camels have adapted to arid deserts in multiple ways—just not in the way you might’ve thought.
2. Are Bats Really Blind?
Since most bat species mainly use echolocation to navigate through dimly lit caves and other similar environments, many people assume that bats are blind.
After all, why would they need to use their eyes?
While bats rely more heavily on their keen sense of hearing during the night, their eyes are fully functional. And depending on the light conditions, their eyesight can be even better than ours!
Larger bats, who live mainly in dense forests, tend to have better eyesight than smaller bats, who live mainly in caves.
These cave-dwelling “microbats” actually have far superior vision in lower light conditions than humans!
Keep this in mind the next time someone says you are “blind as a bat.”
3. Do Bears Actually Hibernate?
When you think of hibernation, what animal first comes to your mind?
Many people immediately envision a fattened bear curled up in its den, ready to doze the days away until spring begins.
But bears don’t actually hibernate in the same way that smaller forest animals do.
When most animals hibernate, their body temperatures lower to equal their environment. This allows them to go dormant for the entire winter. It takes a lot to disturb their slumber.
In contrast, bears go through a process called “torpor,” which is a lighter version of hibernation that reduces their body heat and increases their drowsiness, but it doesn’t neutralize them completely.
In fact, bears in tarpor are just as ready to attack intruders as they are during the spring.
This misconception can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you let your guard down around a sleeping bear while on a winter camping trip. Be safe out there!
Wildlife Is Often Mysterious
As humans, we tend to think we know more than we actually do.
As we’ve seen today, sometimes our assumptions about nature can get us in trouble.
So if you think you know how to resolve a pest infestation at home, make sure to check out our helpful tips and information by calling us at 855-WILDLIFE or visiting www.wildlifexteam.com.
Thanks for reading!
- Wildlife x Team International